Jan Griffier


Artist Biography:

The Dutch painter Jan Griffier was born in Amsterdam. He was first apprenticed to a carpenter, a tile painter and a flower painter before becoming a pupil of the etcher and landscape painter Roelant Roghman. Griffier moved to London soon after the Great Fire of 1666, which he depicted in several paintings. In London he continued his studies under Jan Looten, painting numerous highly finished, small London and Rhineland views. He was admitted a 'free-brother' of the Company of Painter-Stainers in London in 1677, contributing a Landscape with Ruins to their hall. An expert etcher, Griffier produced a series of plates of birds, as well as a number of mezzotint portraits. It is thought Griffier had his own yacht on the Thames, from which he sketched scenery, as he travelled widely between the main British cities, including London, Windsor, Oxford and Gloucester, of which he painted views. He returned to Holland around 1695, apparently in his yacht, which was shipwrecked off the Dutch coast. All the paintings he had with him at that time were lost. He bought a houseboat in Rotterdam, which he then proceeded to use to move his family with him on his travels, continuing to make a living by painting landscapes. Remaining in the Netherlands for about ten years before returning to London, where he bought a house at Millbank. He died in London, and his sons Robert Griffier and Jan Griffier the Younger continued the family landscape tradition.

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